I finished my last big project as those of you who follow the blog will know. So, I am in an in-between time and am working out ideas for the next rug by hooking small trivets. It’s a great way to think through your ideas and, because each trivet goes quickly, quite satisfying as well. Each is a little design statement. I’ve been watching episodes of The Queen and working with colour blocks. What a great way to spend the last dreary days of November.
There are three colour block pouches left in the store. If you are interested click on the on-line store under Navigation on the right of the page.
I’m now carrying the idea of colour blocks to some hooked trivets. This is the first in a series using the same colours as the pouches above. A great way to use left-over strips and ‘sketch’ ideas for a bigger piece. I’ve drawn up a few more and will post as I complete them.
Here are some bright pouches made from recycled and/or remnant pieces of buttery leather. They are so much fun to assemble, each one a riff on the last. They are 7″ wide and 5.5″tall with coordinating zipper and cotton lining. They are great storage for the small things you carry in your big bag and are bright enough that you can find them in the darkest and largest tote. They can also travel solo with your phone and cards and other small essentials. These will be in the on-line store tomorrow. What a great gift!
I’ve been working some ideas out in small wool ‘sketches’. This is a great way to experiment with shape and colour and texture. These are not the best photos as it is very overcast and snowing here today!
The first is based on a white oak tree ring, the second on the memories of my time in a village in Spain this time last year. I like the repeated pattern in both pieces but not sure where either will take me. I’m going to try another version of the houses and colour blocks and see if I can work out what I’m not happy with in this first one. Maybe be more organized and methodical in my overlapping pattern? Or maybe fewer houses? I’ll try out some drawings this week. After all with snow on the ground, it’s a perfect hooking time.
Earlier this week I was in Dundas for a watercolour class. At lunchtime I walked to the Detour Cafe for a cup of their coffee. It was a beautiful day and the shadows were deep under the awning. I did very little of this sketch on site–instead I took a photo and worked on it later at my open studio day. There I had lots of encouragement to ‘go darker’. I had only time to finish the building and add the xmas wreath hanging from the lamp post, but somehow this seemed ok. A memory of the wonderful November sunlight (happily not an oxymoron this year) we have been enjoying.
I have been trying to sketch more these days, both at home and on the road. These sketches are from the last couple of weeks–stretching my grasp of perspective and pushing myself to add more colour and depth. The sketch below was the hardest as I was angled above my beloved train station. I spent so much time getting the angle that I had no time for colour even though the train was 25 minutes late! The notes on the page make the rest clear enough–I wondered about leaving them and decided it was fine to record publicly the sad events of last week and the wonderful restorative power of Mystical Landscapes at the AGO.
Most of these were done from inside–but the last one, in Guelph, was done sitting outdoors at a cafe–in mid November!
The current gallery show of a few pieces of my rug hooking and an upcoming talk on rug hooking have caused me to go back and review my files. The rug hooking gallery on this site (on the right under Navigation) was in great need of updating. So I’ve been reviewing photos and adding the pieces that were missing. Giving a talk always causes me to reconsider where I’ve come from and, more stressfully, what I plan to do next. Finally finishing Annie after three years is its own kind of stress. What now?
At any rate, I hope you will review the gallery and see the rugs that I have done over the last 10 years. Here is one of my favourites, a chair seat long ago given as a gift.
The Gallery 121 show began today. It’s a great show full of wonderful pottery and paintings as well as my rugs. I will take more photos at the opening on Saturday, but for now here are my hooked pieces. I was delighted with the professional way they are presented. We are very fortunate in Belleville to have such a gallery where local artists can have guest shows. This show is on all month, so I hope that you will be able to visit.
I took a watercolour class in October on painting the buildings and landscape found in the south of France. We were to use photos we have taken ourselves and try to capture the essence of the buildings and streets in loose sketches. The first sketch is my version of an example the teacher provided; the rest are based on my own photos from a 2011 trip I took to the village of Limoux. Sketching these was a reminder of the beauties of the area and also an antidote to the cold and rain we have been having in Ontario. And, good news: I am lucky to be going back to Limoux again in the spring for two weeks of sketching.
It began here and as it goes with these things, it’s been a long while in the making. Many loops pulled, my thoughts thought. I think this Annie Dillard quotation is a good one to remember and I will enjoy having this rug underfoot, a part of our daily life.
Today we put it on a frame and stood it up outside against the garage in the autumn morning light for the first pictures. There is still some tweaking to do with the frame and with the rug, but next week, all going well, it will hang in the gallery. It measures 5’x7′. I didn’t keep track of the wool yardage, but I would estimate about 20 yards. There is off-the-bolt, hand-dyed and recycled wool in the mix. And a total of 65 houses. As for the hours? I didn’t keep track. How we spend our days…